Opinion: McCrory’s education reform is a step in the right direction

Kevin Griffin

Tyler SpaughGov. Pat McCrory has been leading a recent push to get more vocational and technical training in North Carolina’s public schools, according to the Associated Press.

The move comes as part of an ambitious attempt by the new governor to reform a public education system that has had some success, but could be improved. After all, North Carolina’s public education system was ranked 17th in the nation last year, according to Education Week.
I support most of McCrory’s education reforms, particularly this one.

Under the new system, high school diplomas would come stamped as “career-ready,” “college-ready” or both. The college-ready diplomas would represent a curriculum similar to the current one, while the career-ready diplomas would include vocational training.

This system benefits everyone involved, particularly lower-income students. There are many well-paying jobs currently available that require hands-on education that is mostly attained outside the traditional classroom setting.

Students would be qualified to work as carpenters, electricians, machinists or other similar jobs. As more students attend four-year colleges, there are often times not enough skilled workers to fill these roles.

By providing vocational training in high school, students will be able to avoid paying for a community or technical college, which cost an average of $2,361 per year, according to costhelper.com. This plan could save students upward of $5,000 and get them into the workforce two years sooner.

This plan provides an alternative path to well-paying jobs for students who may be unable to succeed academically in college or simply cannot afford it. This also means that these students will not have to receive college financial aid, freeing up more aid for students who decide to attend a college or university.

We have a broken public education system in America. Many students are graduating from high school completely unprepared for the professional world. Politicians on both sides often want to pour more money into the system, but this will not help anything.

Our public schools don’t need more money, they need to make better use of the money they already have. Programs like these allow us to make actual progress by ensuring that more of our students graduate high school with the ability to pursue a career that can financially support themselves and their families.

Spaugh, a freshman accounting major from Winston-Salem, is an opinion writer.